The Short Version
Jordan Riley Swan is a wild word hunter living in the far and dangerous reaches of rural Ohio. He spends his nights tracking down big-game stories, capturing them in paper cages, and training them to be better tales.
The Heart's Bidding is the first novel he's dared to use the keys of his typewriter to release back into the wild.
You can pile his books onto your Goodreads and BookBub to-read list and follow his authorial shenanigans on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Check out the Story Garden YouTube channel for book trailers and exclusive interviews!
The Long Version
First off, I’m being forced to write this bio against my will. My editor is over my shoulder right now and I can feel the cold, heavy weight of a Colt against the back of my neck. I begged her, “please don’t make me do this,” but she just pulled the hammer back on the pistol and replied with something I’m not allowed to repeat here. She followed up by saying that if people don’t get to know me they won’t like me, and since she already doesn’t like me (as evidenced by the fact she’s making me promote myself when it’s the last thing I want to do), I figure I better cooperate.
So, here it is . . . I like long walks on the beach, although I don’t live anywhere near one. I think dogs and cats are equally cool for different reasons, although I’m allergic to both. And I think recorded music is better than live music (I know, totally controversial, but I’m brave like that).
Hold on a second. Now she’s telling me that this isn’t a dating bio. So, scratch all that. I guess it’s supposed to be a work thing, so here you go:
Education: High school dropout.
No, seriously. Totally quit late junior year. I HATED going to the high school where I grew up. Everyone was the son or daughter of lawyers, doctors, or Wall Street investors, and I was the youngest of blue-collar parents in a house with five siblings. Needless to say, my hand-me-downs were handed down more than once. I needed out. So, I made a deal with my mother. Get my GED and she’d sign the papers for my removal. Bingo! Still, I don’t want you thinking I hate education—I did get some minor amount of college in, years later, which I absolutely loved, but I eventually let my business take over my life . . .
Which segues nicely into the next subject:
Work: I owned an antique/used furniture store for decades. It all started because I wanted to be a writer. I know, I know, what does that have to do with writing? Well, my typing speed was slow. We are talking slower even than hunt and peck. More like forage and nip. Because of my glacial typing speed, I started dictating my work and my mom transcribed it. Unfortunately, we were using microcassette recorders and that was interfering with her typing speed. I went to buy her a transcription machine, but they were so cost prohibitive I gave up looking. Then a friend mentioned eBay. He told me, “if you don’t care about condition, that’s the best place to get something.” I bought one that week, and when it arrived a few days later, I realized, “hey, there is something to this eBay thing” (bear in mind this was nearly twenty years ago). I thought, “I could do this and it would let me work from home, where I can write full time!” I went to an auction, bought a few box lots of stuff, sold them for more than I paid, bought more boxes the next time, rinse and repeat. A half year later, I was working on eBay full time. A year after that, I had a shop. Fifteen years later, I had two.
And all the while my writing had completely stopped.
So, about three years ago I looked around and realized, “holy crap, I started this whole antique-selling business so I could write full time.” Number of words written in those fifteen years: zero. I was at a little restaurant when a story idea came to me at the same time I realized I had gone so long without writing. I typed out the first few pages on my work laptop, and suddenly I remembered what I really wanted to do. For the last three years, I have studied the craft of writing, attended seminars and lectures at conferences, joined the RWA, found my tribe in my local chapter, and wrote more than one trunk novel. Now I am writing full time and couldn’t be happier (despite how much I might complain about my editor making me do this).
Boy howdy, I sure went off on a tangent there. I need to remember I HATE doing this bio. Back to the questions she’s making me fill out.
Where I live: In a hotel room as I write this (long and uninteresting story) but mainly rural Ohio.
Hobbies: Role-playing games. Watching movies (in theaters). Working on furniture repairs. Although that last one is more of an extension of my work than a hobby, but I do get a kick out of taking a piece that’s on its way to a burn pile and breathing life back into it.
Genres I like writing in: I’m exploring romance right now, as I have a few love stories to tell. I also write high fantasy. Oh, and I’ve started working on a heist/cozy-mystery-style series that I’m really enjoying. You will likely never see me do a thriller or erotica. Both scare me for different reasons.
Philosophy of storytelling: If you enjoy telling the story as much as the reader enjoys consuming it, the hard work will feel worth it.
Or was that question supposed to mean how do I approach storytelling? I’d ask my editor, but she’s distracted right now, so here’s my chance to escape. See you in the pages of my next novel. Just be gentle with them because what look like lines of ink are actually the dark scars of my heart, shared with the best person I know, the one who took the chance to join me on my storytelling adventure. And of course, I mean you!